AUGUSTA — When your bench scores 18 points and helps keep one of the best shooters in your conference off his game, there’s only one thing to call it.

“One of our best team efforts of the year,” Livermore Falls boys’ basketball coach Travis Magnusson said following his team’s 42-37 win over Hall-Dale in a Western Class C semifinal at the Augusta Civic Center.

The Andies got big nights from reserves Mike Anctil (nine points) and Willie Brown (six points), who led a bench that contributed six 3-pointers to Livermore’s effort.

The top seed in Western Class C, Livermore (17-3) moves on to face No. 2 Dirigo (17-3) in Saturday’s regional final. No. 4 Hall-Dale ends at 12-8.

With the Andies ahead 37-31 with a minute to play, Chandler White made 5 of 6 free throws to seal the win.

Hall-Dale’s 2-1-2 zone defense kept the Andies out of the paint much of the first half, and the Bulldogs had a 14-10 lead before Livermore’s bench players found their outside stroke.

“They were great. We were struggling shooting a little bit. They’re defense really took away our shooters there and took away Mike Armstrong (inside),” Magnusson said. “Mike Anctil came in, Nate (Michaud) hit a big 3. We had 10 points at the time, without those two. They really turned the tide for us.”

All five of Livermore’s first-half field goals were 3-pointers.

“In the beginning, what kept us in it was those missed shots. But once they started hitting, we had to make an adjustment in the zone,” Hall-Dale Coach Jim Patrick said. “We went from a 2-1-2 protecting the paint to a 1-3-1 getting out on shooters. And that worked a little bit, but not much.”

While the Andies struggled in the paint in the first half, the Bulldogs thrived. Center Damian Melnicove scored 11 of his 14 points in the second quarter.

“We tried to double him every time he got a pass. Mike Armstrong did a very good job, Derek (Castonguay) did a good job. But really, the defensive credit goes to Tom (Ventrella). He was all over (Leach),” Magnusson said.

Leach, the Bulldogs’ 1,000-point scorer, had just eight points heading into the fourth. He scored six points in the final minute to finish with 14.

“We held to the game plan. We wanted (to keep it in) the 40s and not let them run away with it,” Patrick said. “A couple of bad breaks, a couple of turnovers, and some missed shots were really the difference in the game.”

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

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